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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

EDUCATION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE         93

they appear in the Statutes drawn up for St. Paul's School by
Dean Colet as " Christian authors that wrote their wisdom with
clean and chaste Latin/' whose writings are to be studied by the
boys of the School.

The second of Augustine's suggestions was even more important
from the point of view of educational practice than the first*
From the Sixth to the Twelfth Century, the scanty learning which
still survived depended to a large extent on compilations of special
groups of facts of the kind he desired to see produced for the use
of the clergy. The earliest of these were prepared by Augustine
himself when he was still a young man. About the age of twenty,
as we have seen, he made a study of the liberal arts. Some twelve
years later, when he had resigned his post as teacher of rhetoric in
Milan and had withdrawn to a country house to make himself
ready for baptism, he returned to the subject again, and began to
write a series of treatises on the arts in imitation of Varro's Disci-
plinarum Libri. The only one actually finished at the time was
that on grammar ; but he afterwards wrote Introductions to logic,
rhetoric, music, geometry, arithmetic, and philosophy. The work
as a whole, however, was never completed, probably because his
interest in merely secular learning waned as his religious interest
increased.

But though Augustine failed to carry out his design, the idea
of an encyclopedia of the liberal arts was congenial to the spirit
of the age. Even those who were not Christians had grown tired
of the barren dissertations and discussions of rthe rhetorical schools,
and were ready to welcome the more positive knowledge of which
the neglected arts gave promise. It may have been this feeling
that inspired Martianus Capella, a lawyer and rhetorician, who,
like Augustine, belonged to the north of Africa, to take up the
task of writing a textbook of the arts about the first quarter of the
Fifth Century, His work on the Wedding of Philology and
Mercury (De Nuptiis Philologies et Mercurii), based in the main oa
Varro, was a collection of miscellaneous knowledge drawn from
many sources and arranged on a fantastic framework of allegory.
It was made up of nine books in obvious imitation of Varro's
work : two of introduction and seven treating of the seven liberal
arts. The first two tell the story of the marriage of Mercury, the
god of eloquence, and the earthly maiden Philology raised to divine
rank, in the presence of the gods and the god-like sages of